The Cape2Rio yacht is returning home after breaking its boom two days of its departure from Cape Town. The yacht Dark Matter’s website reported on Tuesday: “We have received some terrible news. Around midnight Dark Matter lost (its) boom and is limping back to Cape Town.”
“With a 22 knot head on South Easterly and 10 feet (3m) swells it will be tough sailing only on the jib. They are still our heroes and will be in our thoughts until they are safe at shore.”
The Royal Cape Yacht Club-based boat was among the main fleet that left from Table Bay at 2pm on Sunday. It is a 12.14m yacht skippered by David Elcock and was racing in the IRC2 class.
A comment on the Dark Matter Media WhatsApp group said: “Rushing a boom up the coast to them is not feasible as it will not be possible to complete the race before cut-off time”.
Toni Mainprize, the Royal Cape Yacht Club’s Sailing Events Manager, said the organisers were “very disappointed” for Dark Matter but it has an experienced and capable crew and “there is no doubt they will get back safely”.
“We are watching them closely and they are keeping us posted.”
Mainprize estimated that it would take Dark Matter two to three days to get back to Cape Town and said they did not have information yet on how it broke its boom.
Early Tuesday the crew reported its plight to the Maritime radio Control Centre, which is also monitoring developments.
Dark Matter is now depending on its jib, a triangular staysail that sets ahead of the foremast, to get it home.
Mainprize said it also has 20 litres of diesel on board.
According to the tracking and positioning reports on the Cape2Rio websites the four pre-race favourites are taking charge of the event. Runaway, Black Pearl, Weddel and Vulcan were leading the fleet after two days of sailing on Tuesday as it headed towards Rio.